• Pfhorrest
    While awaiting feedback on that "dogmatism" vs "fideism" bit, I've updated the opening paragraph of the essay with some bits that are redundant with parts further down, but maybe will stem off the knee-jerk reactions that seem to be leading people to miss those there.

    Does this make the thesis of this essay any clearer?

    I am against fideism. "Fide" is the Latin word for "faith", so "fideism" means literally "faith-ism", and by saying I am against it, I mean I am against faith. But by "faith" I don't mean any particular religious beliefs, such as belief in gods, souls, or afterlives, but rather a more abstract methodology that could underlie any particular opinion about any particular thing. I also don't mean just holding some opinion "on faith", as in without sufficient reason. I am only against appeals to faith, by which I mean I am against assertions — statements not merely to the effect that one is of some opinion oneself, but that it is the correct opinion, that everyone should adopt — that are made not for any reason, not "because of..." anything, but "just because"; bare, unsupported assertions that some claim is true because it just is, with no further justification to back that claim up; assertions put forth as beyond question, for if they needed no justification to stand then there could be no room to doubt them. — "The
  • Janus
    So I don't think "Against Certitude" is for me.Pfhorrest

    How about "Against Unfounded Certitude"?
  • Pfhorrest
    While that's better for accuracy, it's worse for usability (both compared to just "Against Certitude"), so I think it's still a no-go for me. Thanks anyway.
  • Pfhorrest
    I've updated the structure of this essay to group the bits about what I'm not against immediately following the corresponding bits about what I am against, hoping that that will make it clearer exactly what position I am taking step by step, without people having to read through the entire essay before getting to the parts that disclaim things that might naively be inferred from the earlier claims.
  • Pfhorrest
    Based on feedback from these threads here, I have rearranged the first four essays of the Codex into a different order. This essay, Against Fideism, is no longer the first essay, but now falls between Against Nihilism and Against Cynicism, because the former is lower-hanging fruit than even this, and establishes better up front what I am not arguing for in this; and the latter immediately answers a bunch of the objections that seem to arise in response to this.
  • Pfhorrest
    Based partly on feedback in this (and other) threads, I have completely restructured the essay Against Fideism, now putting the reasons for rejecting it at the forefront instead of the end, and addressing appeal to intuition first after that, and then authoritarianism as an abstraction of that, populism as a variation on that, and new closing comments on how I come close to agreeing with that populism at the end.

    I'd appreciate it if anyone would give it a re-read and let me know if this is an improvement.
  • Pfhorrest
    (I had accidentally written something here that belongs in another thread instead)
  • Wayfarer
    I'd appreciate it if anyone would give it a re-read and let me know if this is an improvement.Pfhorrest

    By rejecting appeals to authority, I am only saying to hold all such opinions merely tentatively, remaining open to question and doubt. If you are unsure of the answer to a question yourself, and some particular individual or institution claims to have looked into it extensively and become very confident in the truth of some answer, I think it's fine to tentatively accept their opinion as probably the right one, for lack of any better reason to think one way or another.

    I only maintain that you should remain open to the possibility that maybe they are wrong, and if and when you can, you should look into their reasons for holding their opinion, and look to see if there are any reasons to think otherwise instead.
    — Against Fideism

    It is an improvement. I admire your willingness to seek out and adapt to counter-factual views. It's commendable.

    But a difference remains with my own philosophy. This is that I do accept that there are persons of genuinely superior character and insight. This is because I accept that there is genuinely such as thing as gnosis or 'higher knowledge'. I know this is a very contentious claim and cuts against the grain of modern culture, where democratic equality is often taken to mean that all people have equal understanding. But I accept that there is an hierarchy of understanding, and that in traditional culture, the philosopher (or sage) was one who had attained that higher understanding, and therefore possesses an insight that the rest of us (the hoi polloi, of whom I count myself one) do not.

    Now I brought that up with you recently, and you said, well, isn't that 'the scientist'? In a sense, yes - there are exemplary scientists, polymaths, deeply sagacious human beings, who are also scientists. Freeman Dyson, who just died, comes to mind. I think Schrodinger, Bohr, and Heisenberg were also in that category. But the insight I'm referring to is not exclusive to science, at least in the modern sense; there is, or was, an understanding of 'scientia sacra', which is the 'science of the sacred', that maps the topography of the higher dimensions, if I could put it that way.

    Of course, here too we're not simply referring to 'faith' as such. In fact, oftentimes the gnostic tendencies in religious cultures have been suppressed by 'the faithful' (especially in Christian and Muslim cultures). There's a tension between gnosis (on the one hand) and 'pistis' which is the 'doctrine of faith'. But the problem is, our culture has generally decided that all spirituality is a matter of belief - which is the basis of fideism.

    So, given that rather verbose caveat - I agree with you.
  • Pfhorrest
    It is an improvement. I admire your willingness to seek out and adapt to counter-factual views. It's commendable.Wayfarer


    So, given that rather verbose caveat - I agree with you.Wayfarer


    (No time to reply in more detail now, off to bed time).
  • Wayfarer
    actually, having read that essay again - yes, I do think it's commendable that you take on board criticisms; but no, I really don't agree with its basic premisses. :sad:
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